National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Hello Charlie. Many people may not know you have left us but your legacy still lives on.

I recently installed individual circuits for gas burners in a two family & four family dwelling’s basements. I could not find in the NEC where it says disconnects are required by the top of stairs(on the unit of course). I was always under the assumption it was required?

Your thoughts please

Thank you, Ed LoGatto



Hey Ed thanks for your question and the kind words. The NEC does not require that switches for gas burners be located by the top of stairs or outside the area. There are disconnecting means rules in Part III of Article 422 for appliances. There are also rules for switches to be outside of and adjacent to the entrance to rooms for oil burners in 10.5 of NFPA 31, Standard for the Installation of Oil Burning Equipment. There might be a rule in another code or standard for gas burners but I am not aware of it.

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ABOUT CHARLIE: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Charlie was also a member of NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting. Charlie’s experienced team of industry experts keep the CQD dialogue and discussions active and informative in the spirit of the man himself, as he wanted.

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